My Role Model Hermione Granger
My hand was the first to shoot up in the air whenever my childhood teachers asked the class a question. Every day I’d go to the library, check out the maximum five books, and return the next day for another batch. I was a nerd, and still am for that matter.
My nerdiness was quite apparent to my peers during elementary school. I was the smart kid, the geek, the nerd, the one whom everyone went to for help with their math homework. Like so many other girls, my life was totally and utterly changed after I became acquainted with Hermione Granger.
Growing up, Hermione was an incredible role model. Although I was hardly aware of gender politics when I was a child, it was amazing to have an intelligent, female heroine whose brains were considered one of her most admirable qualities. Like many other geeky girls and boys, I wasn’t always admired for my brains. I felt the distasteful gaze of my peers when I raised my hand yet again with another answer. Some were quick to laugh at me on the chance that I got an answer wrong.
The harassment wasn’t limited to students either. I had a teacher call me a know-it-all to my face in fourth grade. Another teacher disqualified me from the class spelling bee for misspelling a word I had actually spelled correctly. When I showed her the word in a dictionary later that day, she told me to shut up and sit down. That same teacher refused to punish a boy who punched me in the face. All of this was tame compared to some of the Umbridge-like behavior I suffered as I grew older and mature enough to stand up for myself.
Watching Hermione grow up and face her own obstacles helped me learn to use my brains to defend myself against bullying from students and teachers alike. Remembering that she went through many of the same problems that I did helped me stay strong and stand up for myself. She sought knowledge to fight the battles in her life, inspiring many of us in the Muggle world to do the same thing.
Nothing stopped Hermione from learning the things she wanted to learn. She braved the library alone to figure out what kind of monster was Petrifying Hogwarts’s students. She figured out how to retrieve the books on Horcruxes from Dumbledore’s office. She helped plan an uprising to make sure students were educated on how to protect themselves from the Dark Arts. Seeing Hermione use her wits and researching abilities to help Harry and Ron save the day was encouraging, but the courage she showed in the face of the horrors of her everyday life was the most inspiring part of her story.
Thanks to Hermione’s influence, I’ve never been ashamed to call myself a geek. I’ve never been too frightened to halt my search for knowledge, despite the names I’ve been called or the unfair treatment I’ve undergone. Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for bringing life to the young witch who changed mine and showed the world just how powerful geeky girls can be.